Friday, October 13, 2017

Sadya Islam and Trang Mai recently received first place in the 2017 Upper Midwest American Planning Association Student Poster Contest. Their poster, titled, “Mitigating Flood Risk by Improving Permeability in Downtown Wellman, IA,” was based on research completed in their Environmental Management class during the spring 2017 semester. The class is team taught by Professor Lucie Laurian and Assistant Professor Scott Spak.

The class project was done for the English River Watershed in cooperation with the English River Watershed Management Authority and was broken up into urban and rural aspects, with student pairs taking on further categories within each of those areas. Sadya and Trang were assigned to investigate flood risks in downtown Wellman, part of which falls within the 100 year flood plain and experiences frequent ponding during heavy rains. The project is significant for providing a method that is easily replicable to determine flood risks and Best Management Practices (BMPs) in other small towns.

Sadya and Trang received a prize of $500 and were presented with the award during a luncheon on Thursday, October 5th at the conference in Dubuque, Iowa.

Hongyi Yang received the third place prize for his poster, “Greater Boston Area Rapid Transit and Commuter Rail Study.” Before coming to Iowa, Hongyi lived in Massachusetts for several months and became interested in Boston’s "Urban Ring" project to build a new rapid transit line that connects several existing transit lines. He completed independent research to see if the currently proposed line meets the transit demand of disadvantaged groups in the Greater Boston area. Through the evidence presented in extensive GIS maps on his poster, he concluded that the current plan fails to provide high quality transit for the neighborhoods where residents are lacking mobility, while the new transit line recommended by his study will not only play a similar role to increase transit network connectivity, but also will serve the most transit-deprived areas.

Hongyi was also given his award at the conference and he received a $200 prize.